19 February, 2018

Ask Al: FAQs! - Part 3

1. What is the hardest part of being in the public eye?
This is a very tough one.
There are some muddy lines can sometimes create very real misunderstandings with fans, acquaintances, and certain professional relationships.

[*Cracks knuckles and types manifesto*]

The arts are all intimate businesses, and we don’t deal in numbers, quotas or measurable things, we deal on a daily basis with the innermost workings of humanity, and reveal to the everyday human being the glory of life’s routines, exploring humanity’s full capacity, and revealing some of life’s extremities. We deal daily (and joyfully) with the vulnerability most people spend their entire lives avoiding! And when artists deal with it out in the “real world” transactionally and blithely, it can get confusing. For everyone.

As both an introvert and fiercely private person, it is difficult to feel comfortable about said privacy— particularly in an age of social media where so many people feel (for lack of a better term) entitled to know certain details of your life. Some people feel absolutely comfortable sharing intimate details, and others less so. All variations of that comfort are okay and up to the individual. I believe strongly that the tone, content, and level of intimacy on social media is solely up to the owner of the account, and just because fans want intimacy does not mean it has to be given.

For example you are currently reading my blog. I have been writing this blog for 10 years, sometimes for the purpose of enjoying a creative crucible, sometimes for the purposes of sharing an already-processed experience. However, my inner-most vulnerabilities are mine, and preserved for my close friends and family. The fact that I share selective facts and reflections of and upon life’s ups and downs is one thing, but I do not use this blog (or any aspect of my social media) to actively work through my emotions in real time. I do not share unresolved experiences. Further, and all the sharing is for the purpose of universal connection, not exploitation.

My real-life vulnerability is reserved for my real-life friends. Not, say, my “Facebook Friends.” My personal definition of the word Friend is “a person who has borne witness to, and held, my innermost life.” Thus, never mistake the behavior commonly known as “friendLY” with the well-earned state of “friendSHIP.”

Ultimately, I am very honored to be in my position, and love to share my heart on my own terms. It is an honor to be known for what I love to do and I endeavor to deserve that honor.

2. If you could write a continuation of any other musical theatre character, who would you choose and why?
You might be surprised to hear this but Chava! I think we can all agree that I’m now intensely involved in this family’s “future story—” I do feel compelled to finish what I’ve started and Chava is the daughter I will always somewhat regret not getting a chance to embody as well. I also find her decision equally as harrowing and thus, compelling. How do you cope with he results of such a decision? How does hers and Fyedka’s marriage fare? So many specific adjustments in that scenario. Additionally, I don’t think I’ve heard the last of Hodel. We leave her at quite a cliffhanger in After Anatevka!

3. Have you always aspired to be a performer or did you have a different dream when you were younger?
I always knew I wanted to be a professional creative— I’m not certain that acting and singing professionally was the epitome of my dream. As a child and teenager, I loved the theatre, felt at home and accepted amongst its “creatures” and had an outlet to explore new worlds, research new ways of life, get inside different people’s minds and heart, and to express so many of my deepest emotions.

I’ve been thinking very deeply about “dreams coming true” recently— possibly because so many people are asking me about it. “Is publishing your novel a dream come true” they will ask, and I don’t entirely know how to answer that. Because of course, it is, I have dreamed of sharing my stories with the wider world, to hold a book-shaped book, with actual binding and  I have written in my hands

The voices on Broadway cast recordings were not only my inspirations but my companions, my teachers; I know many people for whom that is a familiar history. But I felt very much the same about characters in books. I was just as enamored with E.M Forster’s Margaret Schlegel as I was with the book and score of South Pacific.

4. After Anatevka tells the story of Hodel after Fiddler. When you research for a role do you think about what happens to the character after the show ends as well as their backstory or was Hodel an exception?

Hodel was absolutely an exception.

The Broadway community and wider world may know me as the most-recent Tzeitel,  from the 2016 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, but from October 2006 to February 2008, I played Tevye's second-eldest daughter, Hodel, in the last West End revival in London. That experience was, without exception, the most immersive and deeply felt of my artistic life thus far. It was like a “first love—” the kind one never forgets, and imprints itself upon you more deeply than any to follow it. Hodel’s strength and sense of purpose, your complex feminine spirit, her wit and determination, her devotion and loving heart. She offered me a chance to find all of these things within myself, and to grow with them.

While all characters tend to endear themselves to you, Hodel haunted me— remained in my cells like an un-rinseable, inextinguishable fuel. Actors often embody traits of the characters they take on, but few characters weave in and out of the soul until you can scarcely detect the line between the emotional truths of one and the other.

5. What is one piece of advice that you wish someone would have told you while you were in school/college/university?

The path to success is curved.

1 comment:


Related Posts with Thumbnails